So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Dixiana AL in order to learn to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have made a decision to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you set about picking the ideal college and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And since most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might need training to pass a licensing exam. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Many prospective students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location should be taken into consideration, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For instance, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiology technician does and the degrees and education choices that are offered.
Radiology Tech Work Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the identical fundamental job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They may work in Dixiana AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must care for their equipment plus routinely assess its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees
The basic requirement for attending a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to complete and is more extensive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which a large number of colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Dixiana AL or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several approve additional options for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it may increase your career options in and around Dixiana AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Programs
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree programs. So although you can still earn your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is typically carried out in Dixiana AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training can be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree often discover that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are frequently cheaper than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be decreased also. But just confirm that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Colleges
After you have chosen the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of searching for and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Dixiana AL. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be an important variable also. But along with location and cost, what else should you factor in when reviewing schools? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of xray tech colleges have earned some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still imperative to verify that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed examination of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Dixiana AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the xray technician schools you are reviewing have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Dixiana AL health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Dixiana AL in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Dixiana AL residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Dixiana AL colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the radiographer program you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Dixiana AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Dixiana X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the appropriate radiology tech school is a critical first step toward beginning a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the day and position and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As we have covered in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you opt for an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the right training and your commitment to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Dixiana Alabama.